Summary of press conference:  Woman alleges that in 1997 after her employment terminated with a National Restaurant Association affiliate, Cain made a single sexual advance at her which she rebuffed and which he stopped after she said no.  So the allegation is not one of workplace “sexual harassment” but of an alleged attempt at infidelity.

A variety of people on Twitter are characterizing this as a “serious sexual assualt,” but that is farfetched. Assuming what she says is true, he stopped when she said to stop and she did not allege any actual sexual touching, only an attempt. She says she mentioned to two people at the time that Cain was sexually inappropriate, but did not mention to details to them.

The political damage will be significant. Unlike the Politico stories, there is a face, name and specific accusations which are of a different character than the prior charges by employees who worked for Cain, but that will not make a difference to public perception. Unlike Bill Clinton, who was accused of not stopping when told “no,” Cain does not have the infrastructure to deal with “bimbo eruptions” as Clinton did, and a Republican candidate is held to a higher standard.

Here is Cain’s response:

“Just as the country finally begins to refocus on our crippling $15 trillion national debt and the unacceptably high unemployment rate, now activist celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of Republican front-runner Herman Cain.

“All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone. Fortunately the American people will not allow Mr. Cain’s bold “9-9-9 Plan”, clear foreign policy vision and plans for energy independence to be overshadowed by these bogus attacks.”


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Gloria Allred is holding a press conference with a woman who claims to have been sexually harassed by Herman Cain. I’ll post updates as we go, and the video when available.

It started with a very bizarre introduction by someone who identified himself as Benjy Bronk, who said he was representing “Elisa Jordana,” and them proceeded to make jokes and recited hebrew prayers.  He chastised the reporters saying things like “maybe I’m the woman” and “you don’t know my genitalia,” “it’s not about me, it’s about Elisa Jordana” and what she’s gone through.  What a start.  I hope it’s included in the videos that circulate after the actual press conference.

Bronk works for Howard Stern.  I wonder if this is all a Stern punking of the press.  If not, it sure is bizarre.

Getting sense it’s a punk, Bronk identified Jordana as this person, or at least a takeover by the Stern show.  Looks like just a “takeover” press conference actually starting momentarily (1:50).

Name of accuser is Sharon Bialek, relates to 1995-96 when working for NRA education foundation in Chicago.  Hired to work on hospitality-business alliance new initiative.  Employed mid 2006-2007 (?) – Allred must have years off.

At will employee was terminated from NRA foundation.  Felt termination “unfair.”  Met Cain, on at least three occasions at NRA convention Cain seated next to her when he was keynote speaker.  She reached out to Cain to find another job.  Cain provided “his idea of a stimulus package.” Have written statements under oath from her boyfriend at time and another businessman that she told them about Cain at the time, and that she was upset and surprised and upset.

Allred says Cain “actively lying” to Americans.

Bialek recounted how she met Cain.  Asked him “when are you running for President.”  Invited her and boyfriend to join him at after-party, which she did.  Month later let go by foundation.  Boyfriend suggested she reach out to Cain, which she did.  Cain said he was unaware of it.

She asked to meet for coffee when she was in D.C.   Boyfriend booked room for her at Capitol Hilton.  Met there in July 1997.  Cain had upgraded her room to a suite without her knowing.  Then went out to Italian restaurant.  Cain said, “why are you here?”

She said looking for job, he said would show her NRA offices.  Parked one block from offices.  Instead of going into offices, reached over and put hand on leg under skirt and pulled head towards crotch.  She said what are you doing, you know I have a boyfriend.  Cain said, you have a job, right?  He stopped when she asked, and dropped her off at the hotel.

She told boyfriend and another person at the time.

She saw Cain about a month ago at a Tea Party conference.  She went up to him and asked him if he remembered her.  He said remembered her from foundation, but “looked uncomfortable,” then wisked away.

Didn’t file complaint against Cain because not employed by foundation when it happened.  Coming forward on behalf of all women “sexually harassed in the workplace.”

Wants Cain to admit to what he did.  “Mr. Cain I implore you, make this right so that you and the country can focus on the issues at hand.”

Allred did not allow Bialek to answer any questions.

 
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